Considering the massive uproar over a loose bolt in Koeberg’s nuclear reactor, I’m suprised there isn’t complete outrage that a bunch of thieves managed to force their way into the control room at SA’s other nuclear facility at Pelindaba. Now, while nothing catastrophic could have happened (when people hear ‘nuclear’ they immediately picture a mushroom cloud rising over Pretoria) the fact is that Pelindaba should be locked down extremely tight.
A day after Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhenkesi Stofile said that racial quotas would be scrapped for sports teams, President Mbeki has confirmed it, racial quotas for sport are no more.
Consider that not even 5 months ago SARU Deputy President Mike Stofile (Makhenkesi’s brother) was calling for quotas to ensure that at least 7 black players (excluding coloured players) were in every Springbok starting side.
This is quite a big turnaround, I guess having a team being able to focus on winning without constant (and often incompetent) administrators intervening to get the right ‘balance’ is a better incentive to get people to play the game. It’s also seems to be a reluctant confession that so far government’s transformation plans for sport have not produced the goods.
ID leader Patricia De Lille has thankfully gone back to doing what she does best, raising a stink about our multi-billion Rand arms deal.
The allegation that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was on the receiving end of dirty cash of course has everyone’s moral indignation meter turned up to eleven. Minister of Defence (and ANC Chairman) Mosiuoa Lekota was suitably outraged:
I can now confirm that on the 29th of January 1999 the following organisations each received R500 000 from [German arms manufacturer] Thyssen-Krupp – African National Congress, Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Community Development Foundation.
Is [she] saying… that Comrade Nelson Mandela, the former president of this country, was a crook that wanted to steal money through the strategic defence package? Because if that is what she is saying, she must get out of this House and say it there.
I’m just wondering if donating to various charities has become a ‘tribute’ that is needed to be paid to prove that you’re willing to spend the big bucks later on. For instance wasn’t the “anonymous” donors behind the statue of Nelson Mandela in the (appropriately titled) Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton revealed (in Noseweek if I remember correctly) to be the consortium behind the Gripen fighters?
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund has withdrawn support for the Nelson Mandela Invitational Golf Tournament hosted by Gary Player, due to Player’s golf course design firm having built a course in Burma. The tournament will also have to drop ‘Nelson Mandela’ from the tournament title.
But what about more concrete actions that help the Burmese junta stay in power. Actions such as international trade. Well according to the Department of Foreign Affairs:
South Africa mostly exports base metals, chemical products, prepared foodstuffs and mineral products to Myanmar and imports mostly footwear, headgear, vegetable products and machinery from Myanmar.
And what about actions on the global diplomatic stage? On that front SA joined Russia and China in opposing a UN Security Council vote condemning the Burmese government’s long and varied list of human rights abuses.
Perhaps that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund will allow the tournament to go ahead with the stipulation that it is hosted in another country who does not trade with Burma.